Considering the amount of mass shootings that have occurred in the United States over the past several years, gun control continues to be a heated debate amongst the American people. In a country that has a deep rooted culture around guns, it is a difficult subject for many to see eye-to-eye on. On one end of the spectrum there are people who believe that stricter control over the purchasing of guns is necessary.
Some of these policies include enforcing more background checks, mental health evaluations, as well as required gun safety and handling courses. In contrast, many people believe that it is unconstitutional to limit American’s rights to own guns, as the second amendment promises the right to bear arms. The reality of the situation in the US is this: if something does not change soon, more people are going to continue to be murdered with firearms.
As a person who grew up in both the south and on the west coast, my opinions on gun control have always been conflicted. The south is known for its conservative values, guns, confederate flags, and good food.
While I understand the need to own a firearm in order to feel safe, there is a very flawed system that is in place today. When a person can walk into a gun show and purchase an automatic weapon without any background check, there is a bigger issue to address.
In the state of Georgia it is not required to have a permit of any kind to own a gun and use it on your own property. The only requirement in order to carry firearms in public is to have a permit, which is not difficult to obtain.
Sarah Shelton, a journalism major at the Georgia State downtown disagrees with the way Georgia’s gun laws work. “I hate guns, I am huge on gun control… We definitely need to have background checks,” said Shelton
“I’ve always lived in the south, and guns have never been prevalent to me, I think they are fine as long as they are properly regulated and there is background checks and you can know it’s safe… but even so, it’s still unsafe. No matter how much you regulate it there’s still going to be a slim chance that something could happen,” said Ross Howard, a business management major on the Decatur campus.
Personally because of my experiences living in the suburbs of California, I saw firsthand that fewer guns meant fewer shootings. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the country, the open accessibility to firearms has resulted in guns being everywhere.
Still to this day in Georgia and all across the south, from the barren countryside to the poverty ridden ghettos in the city, people are ready to bear arms against anyone who threatens their safety. Not only does that create a world of accidents waiting to happen, it raises everyone to the same paranoia that owning a firearm is essential to survival.
In addition, hunting has been a favorite pastime and hobby in America for centuries now. Once American’s passion for hunting is thrown into the mix, it seems nearly impossible to modify the current system that is in place.
Ashleigh Gallant, a marketing major at the downtown campus discusses her views on the issue, “I believe that gun permits should be regulated how we regulate driver’s licenses.” She argues with many people who believe that more guns equals more protection. “If there’s a mass shooting going on out there, 99% of the time you’re not expecting it and the chance that someone will be present with a gun to stop it is slim to none,” said Gallant.
This being said, it’s understandable as to why America is divided so dramatically on the issue of gun control. In a country that has a melting pot of so many different cultures and policies, it’s hard to say what will happen to firearm laws in the future. It’s clear to many that stricter gun control is the solution. But, for as long as Americans continue to love their guns the fight for tighter regulation will be an uphill battle.